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Appeared on: Friday, May 08, 2009
Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R PSU


1. Features

Arctic Cooling is possibly more popular for its cpu/vga coolers, but the peripheral manufacturer recently decided to enter the market of power supply units for PCs, with the release of the Fusion 550R PSU. The company claims that the device is among the less noisy PSUs available today while its ATX design make it compatible with any ATX PC case. The PSU offers a continuous power of 550 Watt, enough to cover the needs of PC gaming systems. In addition, the available 6-pin- and 8-pin PCIe connectors can be used to power a Crossfire- or SLi-setup.

Main features 

• Ultra quiet  80mm PWM fan with low noise impeller
• 550W output power, ATX 2.2
• 82-86% efficiency, 99% PFC
• 80mm ARCTIC F8 Pro fan
• Intelligent fan control (700 – 2,000 RPM)
• Controller for case ventilation
• Over-Power, Over-Voltage, Short Circuit protection,
• Over-Current Protection
• SLI and Crossfire compatible

High Efficiency = Less Power Loss = Quiet Cooling
With an efficiency of at least 82 to 86%, less heat is generated inside the PSU. As a result of this a single 80-mm-fan is enough to cool the PSU. The rubber-mounted fan is spinning in a range between 700 and 2000 RPM making it virtually silent. Additionally to this the PSU comes along with two external fan-connectors giving the possibility to control the case ventilation based on load and temperature and thus lowers the noise level of the complete system to an absolute minimum.

Effective energy-use preserves nature and saves money 
By making appreciated use of natural resources, especially energy you can contribute to lower CO2-Emissions. Additionally you save electricity cost of about 100 €, so the Fusion 550R is a true Payment Saving Unit*.

* In 4 years, 200 d/y with 4 h/d full load at 0,15€/kWh

Save and stable PSU
With a PFC-factor of 99 % and two separated 12-volt-rails, which are supporting each other if necessary the Arctic Fusion 550R is a very safe PSU, that manages to come along with highest demands. The overload, overvoltage and short-circuit protection safeguards the hardware as well as the user from damage.

- Full specifications


2. Opening the box

The Arctic Fusion 550R PSU retails for about $79.95 (including VAT).

The main device as well as the other accessories are packed into a transparent plastic shell. The product has been certified by Nvidia and AMD/ATI for SLI and Crossfire configurations, according to the company. Arctic Cooling is offering a 3-year warranty for the PSU, although we would like to see a 5-year warranty as found in some other competitive PSUs.

The PSU is equipped with a single fan to keep the for cooling. At the same side and next to this fan you find the cables coming out from the device - an unusual design since the fan is typically placed at the bottom side of the device in majority of PSUs. Arctic Cooling claims that this design allows the fan to dissipate hot air more efficiently and its operation is less noisy.

The package includes a printed user manual, a power cord and four black mounting screws. The PSU has the typical dimensions for this category and should fit in any PC case, including small desktops or very basic tower designs.

The power supply has a matte black finish like most of the power supplies we have tested. The edges are rounded and the rear side has a honeycomb design keeping the internal temperature in low levels.

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The device has two +12V rails rated at 0-17Amps. The combined output is 408W.

The main power cable has 20+4 pins, meaning that the connectors are not bonded together. While this is handy for older motherboards, a single 24pin connector would offer easier installation . We would also like to see a 4+4 pin connector for the ATX, rather than the provided 4-pin connector.

The PSU is equipped with the Arctic Cooling F8 Pro 80mm fan, dynamically adjustable at 600~2000 RPM.

Below you can see all the available s connectors.

Connectors Included # Length (mm)

ATX 24 pin & 20 pin compatible
x1 410

EPS/ATX12V 4 pin
x1 410

PCI-E 6 pin
x2 510

PCI-E 6+2 pin
x2 580

SATA
x6 880

4 pin Peripheral
x3 580

Floppy
x1 600

What we didn't like was the fact that both 20+4 and 4pin ATX cables are just 41cm long, making installation in high PC cases more difficult. We would also like to see more than the available three 4pin molex connectors. On the other hand, the sata cable is long enough and the available four PCI-e (2x 6-pin and 2x 6+2 pins) are enough to power the latest graphic setups.


3. Performance

Which factors contribute to a quality power supply unit? Well, it should be able to perform as rated even under heavy loads and of course, it should offer reliability in time.

Though our measuring equipment is yet upgraded in order to offer hardware measurements for the provided outputs of the PSU, we have to compromise with simpler testing procedures, which however may lack accuracy.

We tried to give our system enough load either through extensive CPU+3D usage via 3D Mark Vantage and PC Mark Vantage. Our test PC was as follows:

All PSU ratings were monitored with Everest Ultimate Edition v3.0. The following table lists the industry wide specifications for DC Output Voltage Regulation.

 

After running both benchmarks, the monitored outputs showed us how much stress the PSU has taken.:

Minimum
Maximum
+3.3 V
V
3,24
3,26
+5 V
V
4,86
4,93
+12 V
V
12,20
12,26

The results are adequate and stay well within the standard range. The dual VGA setup seems to stretch the power supply a little bit and we got a slight 0.06~0.07V variation from min to max at the +12V and +5V rails.


4. Final words

The Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R power supply comes with a new design with a small but powerful 80mm fan placed right next to the cabling, instead of the typical bigger 120-140mm fan. The specific design saves some space and also contributed to a more quiet operation. The fan's rotating speed can be dynamically adjusted by connecting it to the motherboard, further contributing to less noisy operation.

Our simple tests did not show any important performance issues. The PSU is offering 4 PCI-e connectors that could be enough to power even dual graphics cards setups, although the 500W are not enough for powering such systems.

We would also like to see longer cables for easier installation in bigger PC cases.

The Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R is a decent product and most importantly, it is properly priced for its category at $80. The device is backed by a 3-year warranty.

- The Good

- The Bad



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